Survivor Series is upon us and WWE has done a terrific job this year of reestablishing it as one of the company’s four major pay-per-views. Following the glorious NXT Takeover Toronto on Saturday night, the four-hour co-branded Survivor Series takes center stage in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
In the main event, Goldberg returns to the WWE ring after 12 years away to do battle with Brock Lesnar in a rematch of their much-maligned Wrestlemania XX bout.
Of course there will also be a trio of traditional survivor series team matches, which are always a fun showcase of the talent on the roster if not ultimately that consequential. Raw teams of men, women and tag teams will take on their respective SmackDown counterparts to try to prove their brand’s supremacy.
I’ll be previewing and predicting every match on the Survivor Series card for your enjoyment. And if you enjoy my analysis, return to COED on Sunday night for my live updates and recaps after each match. If you don’t, you’re going on the list.
Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. Goldberg
In a main event with the main goal of selling WWE 2K17 copies, a smaller and grayer Goldberg returns to the WWE to take on the Beast Incarnate. Goldberg won the last time these two faced off at Wrestlemania XX in a match that preceded both of them exiting the company. And now he’ll try to do it again in front of his young son and all the children out there who have never seem him wrestle.
The build for this match was solid, with the exception of a misguided attempt to get Brock Lesnar heel heat in Minnesota. If Goldberg has anything left in the tank then this should be an intriguing bout. Hopefully these two leave it all in the ring and are willing to beat the hell out of one another for our entertainment. One thing to keep an eye on is if Goldberg can still get the massive human being that is Brock Lesnar up for the jackhammer.
After the WWE has spent the last several years building up Lesnar as an unstoppable monster, I just don’t see the logic in feeding him to a 49-year-old former WCW star. I expect Lesnar to pick up the win after a physical affair.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats Goldberg
Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman) vs. Team Smackdown (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) in a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match
These matches are pretty much impossible to predict in full because of how many permutations there are, but I’ll do my best.
In the famous Survivor Series matches in the late 80’s and 90’s there were typically good-guy teams vs. bad-guy teams, but with the Raw vs. Smackdown format they’re mixed, which makes it more difficult to have a rooting interest. Still, the sheer amount of talent in the ring for this one will be something to behold.
I foresee Team Raw winning it after Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho use their best friend powers to beat AJ Styles in front of their fellow Canadians in Toronto. Then either to end the show or the next night on Raw, Jericho will stab his best friend in the back to set up a much-anticipated WWE Universal Title Feud.
Prediction: Team Raw Wins with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho as its survivors
Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox) vs. Team Smackdown (Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Carmella)
Raw has probably the three biggest stars in the women’s division in Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley, but because wrestling is (spoiler alert) predetermined I think the SmackDown women will get the win. The Smackdown women’s division is clearly in Raw’s shadow, so a win for Smackdown will validate its division.
I expect Charlotte and Sasha to be in the final four opposite Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella before Charlotte and Sasha’s teamwork falls apart and they ultimately undermine each other leading to a SmackDown victory.
Also, look out for Natalya to take out Naomi before the match to get a spot on Team Smackdown.
Prediction: Team Smackdown Wins with Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella as its survivors
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown in a 10-on-10 Traditional Survivor Series Match
First of all, no chance I was writing out all those names for this absolute clusterfuck of a match. Expect absolute chaos, and in the end look for Chad Gable and Jason Jordan to emerge as sole survivors for Team Smackdown. Those two dudes are as talented as they come, so this match should be their coming-out party.
In contrast, a win for Raw’s top tag teams of The New Day and Enzo & Cass won’t do much to increase their stock, and Cesaro and Sheamus have too tense a relationship to survive all the way through.
And as for the Smackdown team, Rhyno and Heath Slater are already made men with the titles and the Usos are already established enough to not need a win here.
So any scenario that doesn’t include Gable and Jordan as survivors would likely be a mistake.
Prediction: Team SmackDown wins with Chad Gable and Jason Jordan as the sole survivors
The Miz (c) (with Maryse) vs. Sami Zayn for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
If Sami Zayn wins, the Intercontinental Championship goes to Raw. Since Roman Reigns already holds the United States title on Raw, I don’t expect that will happen. Instead I think The Miz will using underhanded tactics to retain the title, and Zayn will make a move over to SmackDown to chase the title.
You should also definitely be on the lookout for Dolph Ziggler, who figures to get involved in this one after losing the title back to The Miz. With Smackdown returning to Pay-Per-View just two weeks later for TLC, a triple threat between Miz, Ziggler and Zayn appears likely then. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ziggler makes a run-in and gets somebody disqualified.
Prediction: The Miz retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship via disqualification
The Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto for the WWE
If Kalisto is able to beat The Brian Kendrick, the Cruiserweight Championship will make its way to Smackdown. Since 205 Live is already slated to premiere after Smackdown on November 29th, I’d be surprised if Kalisto doesn’t leave Toronto as champion.
The Cruiserweight Division hasn’t gained traction in its current form on Raw, and the WWE will try to build excitement for the new WWE Network show by having Kalisto be its new standard-bearer.
Prediction: Kalisto defeats The Brian Kendrick to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship